#848: The Contestant

(It’s hard to blog when your 15-month-old laptop mysteriously bites the dust, and the replacement motherboard costs more than a whole new computer. But thank goodness for extended warranties, and if I’ve ever inwardly grumbled about my credit card yearly fee, I know that the cost of my new laptop has more than made up for it.)

So I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected and unproductive lately, and one of the tasks that I’ve had to put off until I was back on-board, was editing. And I have a great bit of editing to do just now: my own daughter’s writing.

The Girl is entering her first writing contest. For several weeks now, she had been asking me where she could find writing contests for kids. As luck would have it, one of the local libraries is holding a contest that, fortunately, has a children’s category. So there was never a bit of hesitation in her mind about what to do next.

I’m so impressed with her for several reasons: First, that she already had a lengthy piece, all set to go. No scurrying around at the deadline, when your little 10-year-old mind has already produced tons of writing, and is just awaiting the right opportunity.

Second, that her piece is so rich, full, and complete, that between the two of us, we’ve been finding it hard to trim it down from 2,800 words to the maximum of 1,500. We’ve been taking cracks at it for almost two days, and it says something when you just can’t find enough that you want to excise.

Finally, that she has the confidence and ambition to even reach for a writing contest at this age. I don’t think that I ever felt I had anything good enough to submit until I was about 14. So while we’ve already discussed that winning isn’t the important thing here, we both know that this is a wonderful, solid step that she’s taken.

I love knowing that the Girl enjoys what she does, and has a flair for it. I get misty-eyed seeing how she has quite naturally fallen into my footsteps. Most of all, I’m loving the idea that that this could be the beginning of something wonderful.

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